They Got Me…

15 Sep

Since we are on the topic of writing digital copy, I thought I’d share a relevant experience I had last night. So here’s the story:

Yahoo! is my homepage. It always has been and probably always will be unless it gets bought out by Google. I know Google is considered the better search engine, but I’m not comfortable with change. I’m so familiar withYahoo! and know how to navigate around it with ease. Plus, once I figure something out, I don’t really like to learn a totally different way of doing things. Humans are creatures of habit. I’m one of them.

Anyways, one of the reasons I like Yahoo! is because the homepage provides me with the latest news updates from around the country. It also imports stories from local news outlets. So, I’m browsing around the news headlines, wondering if there’s an interesting story out there, and I find this: 

 Note Figure One:
Do you see it? The highlighted box that reads “Parents: Casey Anthony knew where child…”?

Well, I see the link and immediately try to complete the headline, which happened to be: “Parents: Casey Anthony knew where child…WAS BURIED!!” Now I’m thinking “Oh my goodness, I have to click on this link so I can find out the details!”

So I do, and instead I find this:

Note Figure Two:
Do you see the actual headline? It reads “Casey Anthony’s parents have differing theories on how Caylee died.” I’m pretty sure a “theory” or “idea” is different from a proven fact backed by evidence, which is what the link in Figure One was portraying, at least to me.

So because I clicked on the misleading link, the Tampa Tribune is making money from advertisers.

And because I clicked on the misleading link, I think the Tampa Tribune’s credibility went down a bit in my book.

So if you are writing for an online publication, what will be more important to you–the money or your reputation as a trusted news source?

Personally, I feel cheated.

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One Response to “They Got Me…”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blogs Suffer Due to Ineffective Headlines « Sideline Chatter - September 27, 2011

    […] reputation is to coerce the audience to read your stories by telling lies. Check out my story, “They Got Me,” to find out more on this tip. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", […]

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